On Tuesday, Richland County will unveil details of a community and government services “master plan” called Richland Renaissance.
The comprehensive initiative is designed to improve County services to residents, resolve a variety of needs and position the County for the future. In anticipation of the Tuesday presentation, questions have been raised about the necessity and validity of the project and whether it will work.
Richland Renaissance is a comprehensive response to concerns raised by County Councilmembers who inquired about the lack of space and delivery of services equitably to residents and businesses. Councilmembers asked the County Administrator to examine the issues and recommend a solution.
Richland Renaissance is the answer. Following are few facts about Richland Renaissance, as well as few issues the initiative will address:
- No tax increase. Richland Renaissance does not require raising taxes.
- New judicial center, new site: There is a need for a new judicial center, as the current location is not suitable for expansion. Further, building the judicial center at 2020 Hampton St. will save the County millions of dollars in site acquisition costs and building a parking structure.
- Better buildings, better service: Several county facilities – including local offices of state agencies – stand in a state of disrepair. Richland Renaissance will resolve this problem by finding suitable sites to improve the delivery of services to residents and working conditions for employees.
- Eliminating long waits, long lines: Currently, residents must stand in line for long times to pay taxes and other bills, and people living in the far Southeast or Northwest parts of the County must travel to downtown Columbia to conduct business. Richland Renaissance will bring many services “closer to home.”
- Improved livability: At least 16,000 blighted areas have been identified throughout the County. These
areas must be cleaned up and revitalized to increase residents’ quality of life.